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News > U.S.

Atlanta Police Officer Who Killed Rayshard Brooks Reinstated

  • The Atlanta cop who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks has been reinstated by the Atlanta Civil Service Board.

    The Atlanta cop who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks has been reinstated by the Atlanta Civil Service Board. | Photo: Twitter/@nypost

Published 5 May 2021
Opinion

The Atlanta police officer who was fired after the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks, Garrett Rolfe, has been reinstated after appealing against his firing to the Atlanta Civil Service Board.

According to the City of Atlanta website, the Atlanta Civil Service Board delivered the decision to reinstate Rolfe on Wednesday, as it serves as the “official protector of the civil service system," according to the City of Atlanta website.

The board’s sole purpose “is to examine the issues of adverse employment action(s) in accordance with the Atlanta City ‘Code’," and the order stated that the board was not charged with determining or referencing the criminality of Rolfe’s actions, given that, to date, Rolfe has not been indicted.

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Rolfe, charged with murder following the shooting death of Brooks, shot him in a Wendy's parking lot south of downtown Atlanta. Rolfe was fired on 13 June, just after he and another police officer responded to complaints that Brooks had fallen asleep in his car in the restaurant's drive-thru lane.

Police body-camera video shows the 27-year-old Black man struggling against the two white officers after they tried to arrest him after saying that he had too much to drink. Brooks then grabbed a Taser from one of the officers and tried to flee, supposedly firing it at Rolfe three times, according to the order released on Wednesday.

The autopsy found that Brooks was shot twice in the back by Rolfe.

Officer Devin Brosnan responded to the scene with Rolfe and was also charged with aggravated assault and violating his oath. Yet, their lawyers stated that their clients acted appropriately, and both are now free on bond.

Former Fulton County district attorney Paul Howard brought the original charges against Rolfe and Brosnan less than a week after the shooting, and Fani Willis, who took office in January replacing Howard, asked Georgia attorney general Chris Carr to reassign the case twice, saying actions by Howard made it inappropriate for her office to continue handling the case.

Carr, however, has refused, stating the problems she cited were specific to Howard, and thus responsibility for the case remained with her office. Fulton county superior court judge Christopher Brasher last month asked Willis to provide evidence showing why she should not be involved by this past Monday to decide on the matter.

“Due to the City’s failure to comply with several provisions of the Code and the information received during witnesses’ testimony, the Board concludes the Appellant was not afforded his right to due process,” the board said in its decision, according to news outlets. “Therefore, the Board grants the Appeal of Garrett Rolfe and revokes his dismissal as an employee of the APD.”

Sgt William Dean, an Atlanta police department veteran of 25 years currently assigned to APD’s advocacy unit of internal affairs, testified that Rolfe’s dismissal “seemed rushed and sufficient time was not provided for the Appellant to submit a response.” The order also states that Dean testified that due to heightened community concerns surrounding Brooks’ shooting: “the Appellant was told not to be inside the City limits for his own safety.”

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